MY MOST VALUED material possession, by far, is my laptop computer. Taking into account its original price ($250 on sale at Best Buy) and its basic cost of maintenance (zero, as long as I keep the keyboard clean), the financial return on its direct benefits provided is enormous and, indeed, difficult to calculate beyond infinity. Sometimes in the year 2015, we take for granted these modern conveniences, but I assure you, if one could magically "transport" an average high school or college student from the 1950's to today, and show him the exact benefits and operations of an equally standard laptop, he would be astounded: Of a surety, it is the equivalent to a convenient 24-hour-a-day pass key to every library, every newspaper office, and every university anywhere in the world. People sometimes forget the "old days" when they had to actually seek transportation to the central library, thumb through the voluminous "card catalogue" and, only then, walk through the endless aisles and pull a hard-copy book from the shelf. Too, there was an academic product called an encyclopedia (lol), a sort of crude, pre-Google search engine in which all information was, likewise, on the printed page as opposed to more easily (and readily) available in cyberspace. My efficient, effective and egalitarian-infused laptop is the greatest tool imaginable (for a mere $250) to open up this vibrant virtual portal to the outside world, directly from my home office to any distant point on any imaginable horizon. The money I save in travel cost, books, and hard-copy printouts can never be calculated -- nor repaid, to whomever is the blessed soul who abundantly provided me this "magical" portal which helps me in my education and everyday life in so many immeasurable, myriad ways. The humble laptop computer is likely the most valued material possession of many similar searching souls, the world over, all bound by the common thread of an unquenched and unbounded thirst for knowledge. Long may it run.
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